Art Works Blog

"If I were to win loads and loads of money, I would plant theaters, proper theaters, in each and every township in South Africa." -- Thoko Ntshinga For South African actress Thoko Ntshinga, her art and her community are inseparable. Having grown up under Apartheid, Ntshinga sees it as her...
"Why do people need opera? To feel that they are people, human. Opera, like no other art form, 'talks, sings' to people using a language of noble emotions, without triviality, and teaches us important lessons without moralizing. The beauty of the music is intensified by acting, and the...
In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re honoring a woman whose heroics were immortalized in the pages of Big Read title In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. The book, which is based on true events, chronicles the four Mirabel sisters as they attempt to overthrow Rafael...
Among the many information requests our office fields in a typical week, people occasionally ask us to reconcile sets of research findings, which, at first glance, may seem incompatible. This happened again quite recently — only this time one of the data points in question was ours. The NEA...
I n honor of Women's History Month, we asked poet Maureen Seaton — a 1994 NEA Literature Fellow — to share with us five women artists who have influenced not just her work but her life as an artist. Or as Seaton put it, what follows is her list of " women writers who rocked my...
"It's been often said that architecture is frozen music; the idea of crescendos and diminuendos, pulsation of space, the rhythm as you move through [a building]. I don't design from the sense of photography; I design from the sense of movement as you pass through the buildings."...
March is one day away, so to kick off National Women's Month we're shining a light on Mattie Ross, the 14-year-old heroine of Charles Portis's novel, True Grit . Though fictional, young Mattie leaps off the pages with her unwavering conviction and outsize personality. This wonderful...
For writer and theater artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph, inspiration "is a tool like blood, or breath." For architect Jeanne Gang inspiration "comes from just reading about a subject and where the mind starts to take you." In the new issue of NEA Arts find out what else Joseph, Gang,...
"When I started producing documentaries I quickly realized that viewers wanted stories. They want to understand, they want to be mired in a narrative so they can feel the humanity of people they might not ever meet in their own daily lives. Documentaries have the ability to change lives and...
"I feel like I'm constantly walking the edge of disaster in creating these pieces..." —Mary O'Malley Mary O'Malley is a visual artist who, as she describes it, spends her time "creating ceramics out of a barn in Long Island." A recent-ish graduate of Philadelphia...

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